Friday, August 21, 2009
Charles Krauthammer: "The Truth About Death Counseling"
Is the "death panel" real, or not?
A powerful op-ed about Section 1233 of H.R. 3200, from Charles Krauthammer in the WaPo this morning.
Here's his conclusion:
So why get Medicare to pay the doctor to do the counseling? Because we know that if this white-coated authority whose chosen vocation is curing and healing is the one opening your mind to hospice and palliative care, we've nudged you ever so slightly toward letting go.
It's not an outrage. It's surely not a death panel. But it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor. And when you include it in a health-care reform whose major objective is to bend the cost curve downward, you have to be a fool or a knave to deny that it's intended to gently point the patient in a certain direction, toward the corner of the sickroom where stands a ghostly figure, scythe in hand, offering release.
Posted by James P. Pinkerton at 6:54 AM